As Different As Night and Day
And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. -- Luke 2:8-9
You're standing amidst a cool evening breeze in the expanse of an open field. You're are squinting and straining for a glimpse of your flock against the backdrop of darkness. The crickets are chirping, limbs crack echoing in the silence of the night. You look out over your left shoulder, scanning for any sign of harm advancing toward your sheep. It's safe in that direction, so You shift to the right, searching and listening for any suspicious movement. Just as your eyes begin to focus in the blackness, the canopy of black is swallowed by brilliance that outshines the sunbeams that normally beat down on you at noon.
Just think, one moment it's midnight, and the next moment, its as if it's noon. You look around you and see no darkness anywhere, it's bright everywhere you turn. Light has pierced the darkness - completely.
You have never experienced this before, and understandably, you are a bit fearful of what is happening.
The light that surrounded them wasn't from the noon day sun, it was God's glory shining around them.
And they knew it. Thus, their fear.
How do I know they knew it?
Because the word for glory in the original language says very apparent.
Let's play with those words a little to better grasp what it is saying -
And angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them and the very apparence of God shown around them.
Has the "apparence of God" ever been apparent to you in circumstances in your life? I can answer that question with a resounding "Yes!"
It was pitch black outside and all of a sudden it was completely clear, they could see.
When God becomes apparent in a situation, the difference is night and day.
We can see through the darkness more clearly and can fall at his feet in fearful reverence that He has drawn near.
Your twelfth gift this December to Remember - God's apparence. His Glory. Right smack dab in the middle of the midnights of our lives.
Glorious Creator, You are never far. Even in our darkest hours You are leaning in, ready to make your glory known to us. Shine on and shine through, Father, pierce the darkness and show us your apparence in everyday situations in such a way that we fall in worship of your greatness.